Tag Archives: culture

Tales of the Superstitious

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Do you have any superstitions? Salute solitary magpies, count rosary beads, throw spilled salt over your shoulder, have an irrational fear of the number 13, which is antagonised further when that day of the month falls on a Friday? Such…

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The Legend of the Aap

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Pedro takes a look at the body-less monster of Khmer villages, the Aap. “Do you believe in ghosts?” is a question sometimes asked after conversations about rice and money have been exhausted. “Believe!” is the emphatic answer. When prodded on…

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Rice Work If You Can Get It

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Pedro joins village Khmer women in the fields harvesting rice. Rice – the bane of my life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok and fills an empty stomach, but to be honest it lacks a certain culinary flair, especially when…

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How to Survive Alone in a Cambodian Village

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When in Rome It’s a crap adage but helpful. One of the first things you need to do is abandon your Western habits in favour of local ones. Even superior Western habits will not serve you if you cling to…

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5 Things Barangs Do Better Than Khmers

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Not eating our pets Whilst in the West pets are a source of joy, in Cambodia pets are a source of protein. Rationality tells us it can’t be more wrong to eat a dog then a pig; indeed haven’t we…

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5 things Khmers do better than Barangs

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1. Respect In the West the phrase, “old person” is so objectionable that it needs to be pussyfooted around with terms like, “older person” or “senior”. In Cambodia if you call a fifty year old guy “Tha” (grandfather), he is…

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Whitebait, Guinness and Rollmops – Khmer Culinary Faves from the UK

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‘I miss the rollmops, delicious, just like prahok…. but I don’t really like Cornish pasties,’ my husband informs our friends back here in Phnom Penh upon our return from our two-month trip back to my homeland. Being in the UK…

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Confessions of a CTN Choreographer

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I’m still not sure how it happened. I was looking for an apartment, and somehow that led to an e-mail, which led to an inquiry, the sending of a CV, a few missed calls, and then an interview. (By the…

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6 Reasons to Leave the Expat Bubble and Live in a Khmer Village

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You Will Have Realizations In the village you will not have air conditioning and this means that mattresses are a menace to a good night’s sleep. Cambodians sleep on a straw mat on a wooden floor or cot. So say,…

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Proselytism in the Provinces

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“I love you and Jesus loves you,” said the pimply youth with a clean cut all-American dress sense. OK, organized religion isn’t my thing. It’s done both good and rather a lot of bad from Tierra Del Fuego up to…

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